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MAY 2011

Thailand

Scandinavian Viking Cup in Thailand ScandAsia.dk

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At have krystalklart syn på alle afstande er en ungdomsgave, men vi begynder at miste det privilegium allerde i 40 årsalderen og opefter, og synsevnen mindskes hurtigt og vi bliver hurtigere trætte især når vi arbejder med datoer og dokumenter, dette symptom kaldes presbyopi (alderslangsynethed). Enkelt- og dobbeltslibede brilleglas er, takket være flere hundrede års teknisk udvikling, stadig standard behandling på sådan et symptom. De kan hjælpe os at se bedre på nær og lang afstand, men de kan også gøre at vores øjne bliver ældre end hvad vi selv er og kan indebære at linsestyrken skal forøges hvert år. Progressive linser med varierende styrke i hundredtals lag er produceret for at muliggøre umiddelbar synsskarphed på alle afstande og forhindre yderligere presbyopi Imidlertid har de fleste progressive linser på markedet idag begrænsninger eftersom de designes som færdige linser for masse produktion. Derfor kan designet af disse linser kun justere myopi (nærsynethed) og hyperopi (langsynethed) for mindre end 100 former af sådanne synsfejl. De fleste linser er ikke tilstrækkelige til brugere, som har andre af de 42.000 millioner kendte former for synsfejl, specielt for dem som har astigmatiske synsfejl. De giver en dårlig kvalitetsoplevelse, en “svømmende” effekt, afgrænset synsfeldt, og det er svært at tilpasse sig til linserne. Det værste er, at mange personer i verden spenderer mange penge på disse gammel-teknik-linser men kan ikke bruge dem. ISOPTIK er verdens bedste højkvalitet brillecenter, specialiseret i at udvikle progressive linser med højteknologi fra Tyskland. Deres “2nd Generation Wavefront-Guided 3D Individual Free Form Instant Adoptation-System” kan designe og muliggøre et kraftfuldt resultat for alle øjne ud fra mere end 1.000.000.000.000 målinger baseret på virkelige data ved at anvende tredimentionel positionsbestemmelse for hver bruger. Den passer også til de fleste bøjede solbriller, op til en 25 graders vinkel. Alle brugere føler sig godt tilpas, har lært at tilpasse sig og kommer til at opleve umiddelbar krystalklar synsskarphed på alle afstande, præcis som da de var unge! Hvert eneste par briller kommer med to års garanti, under strikt opsyn af Master Bobi, som er verdens førende specialist på førsteklasses progressive linser, under mottoet ”Livet er for kort til at begrænse dit syn”.

Center for højkvalitets briller

“Livet er for kort til at begrænse dit syn” Master Bobis briller er helt i klasse med de bedste i verden


Coming Events

Your FREE ScandAsia Magazine in Thailand

SSS Danish Golf Day Date: 4 June 2011 Sign up now for the upcoming SSS Danish Golf Day sponsored by Danish companies in Thailand. Scandinavian golfers should not miss this challenge and the summer season is perfect for swinging. The event will be held on 4 June 2011. Venue will be announced shortly. Please register to www.zabaigolf.com for more details.

www.tourismthailand.org

ScandAsia is the only magazine that covers all the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish residents in Thailand. We also publish a ScandAsia magazine in China, Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.

DWN Sankt Hans Aften Party

Please sign up for your own FREE copy: www.scandasia.com Publisher: Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. 4/41-2 Ramintra Soi 14, Bangkok 10230, Thailand Tel. +66 2 943 7166-8, Fax: +66 2 943 7169 E-mail: news@scandasia.com Editor-in-Chief: Gregers A.W. Møller gregers@scandmedia.com Advertising: Finn Balslev finn@scandmedia.com Piyanan Kalikanon piyanan@scandmedia.com Nattapat Maesang nattapat@scandmedia.com

Date: Sat 18 June 2011

Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair Date: 28 -31 June 2011 Location: Queen Sirikit National Convention Center Enjoy the biggest and grandest multi-product sale of the year including cuisine, clothes, souvenirs, home decoration, accommodation, health products and services, travel services, and many more. This event is part of Amazing Thailand Grand Sale in order to promote Thailand as a world attraction. As a resident, you don’t even need to fly here to join the event!

Danish Women’s Network will have a in Skt. Hans Party on 18 June 2011. This is a traditional event for Danish residents celebrating Sankt Hans Aften, known elsewhere as Saint John’s Day, where they grill, eat, drink and have a good time around an open camp fire in the garden. Venue will be announced soon. Please contact dwnbkk@gmail. com for more information.

Graphic Designer: Supphathada Numamnuay supphathada@scandmedia.com Distribution: Pimjai Chaimongkol pimjai@scandmedia.com

European Film Festival in Thailand

Printing: Lake & Foundtain Printing Co., Ltd.

Daily news and features here: www.scandasia.com

Date Bangkok: 6 -17 July 2011 Chiangmai : 21-31 July 2011

The Danish Film will be screened in European Film Festival 2011. Danish contributions have been chosen through a vote and will be the dramas ‘Overgaden Under Vandet’ and ‘Flugten’ (The Escape). The festival will be open to the public from July 6th-17th in Bangkok and July 21st -31st in Chiangmai. In Bangkok, the Festival is organized at the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre (BACC), and in Chiangmai at Vista, Kadsuankaew. All screenings will be free of charge. More information about the EU Film Festival will follow soon. Please stay tuned at www. scandasia.com.


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Viking Wheelers Nong Yai Power Challenge

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ong Yai Challenge Ride was held on Sunday 3rd of April 2011. The participants were Terri, Yuri, Finn, Alex, Willy, Simon, Martin, Henrik and of course the organiser Claus Bergenfelt. The trip overall was a real challenge, but the area and surroundings are really beautiful, nice winding roads, beautiful hills which makes it a very nice ride which can be recommended to everyone who don’t mind up-hills and a little sweat on the forehead. http://www.gallery.vikingwheelers.com/#home

SWEA Bangkok Easter Dinner

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WEA’s annual Easter Dinner took this year place in Bangkok at Stable Lodge on the 22 April 2011 where 38 Swedes gathered for celebrating Easter in a friendly atmosphere. The participants enjoyed the delicious Easter buffet. Jessica Zettergren, SWEA Vice President, welcomed the guests: “Welcome to Easter Dinner. On behalf of SWEA Bangkok, thank you for joining us tonight and also thanks to Stable Lodge who provides the fantastic buffet and SWEA program group who has organized this event.” After dinner, lottery prizes were drawn and everyone joined the fun games. The party ended very late at night with fond memories of a truly Swedish Easter in Thailand.

6 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011


Danish Ladies Luncheon @ Hua Hin

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he first Danish Ladies Luncheon in Hua Hin was held on 2 May 2011 at La Grappa restaurant where 27 ladies gathered this sunny Monday afternoon. ScandAsia joined the lunch with the friendly ladies who talked, laughed and enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Chef Andreas Bonifacio. The menu was Italian appetizers, grilled sea bass fillet, served with fresh Mediterranean sauce, and apple-raisin tart served with vanilla ice cream. Beate Cecilie Stampe Rasmussen was the one behind this event. She talked to ScandAsia how she organized the Ladies Luncheon: “I met Marie-Louise at the first Danish Network Party and we discussed about having activity for ladies. Men organize event like golf event or networking so why don’t we have our own event. So later we discussed with La Grappa who kindly helped us arrange the food, drinks and venue.” She also talked about the future event: “Next event will be a ‘Girls Night Out’ which is our monthly party. Besides we have many more events in mind but we need to discuss and set the date in order to make sure that everyone can make it.” Chef Andreas Bonifacio also addressed the guests: “Some of you I already know and some I don’t know - however you are all welcome to La Grappa. Enjoy your lunch and hope to see you again any time.” The next Ladies Luncheon will be held on 1 June 2011 at Banyan Golf Club. If you live in Hua Hin and want to join the ladies lunch, please email to huahinladies@gmail.com.

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1. Beate Cecilie Stampe Rasmussen who was the lady behind this Ladies Luncheon 2. From left: Marie-Louise Tarp and Hanne Reese 3. Chef Andreas Bonifacio 4. Ladies enjoyed talking and eating together

Charity Jam Concert for Baan Jing Jai

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he Green Tree Restaurant and Pub, on North Pattaya Beach Rd., welcomed everyone to a great charity concert for the Baan Jing Jai children on Sunday 24 April 2011. Over 15 musicians from the land of rock and roll took turns on the stage throughout the evening, to raise money for a new orphanage for the children. The event was organized by the Scandinavian Ex-Pats Club, and assisted by City Hall, Pattaya Musicians for Charity and Jomtien People. John Haerum from the Scandinavian Expats, Mayor Ittipon Khunplume, and Niels Colov, CEO of the Pattaya People Media Group encouraged and applauded everyone’s generosity to the kids, who made the rounds to collect donations for their new building.

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1. Group photo with musicians, the mayor and members of the Scandinavian Expats Club. 2. Mayor Ittipol Khunpluem with ”Mamma” Piangta Chumnoi from Baan Jing Jai with some of the children from the home. 3. The children from Baan Jing Jai collects a donation from one of the happy sponsors. 4. John Haerum, Chairman of Scandinavian Expats Club Pattaya, Mayor Ittipol Khunpluem and Tom Rossetti from the Musicians for Charity Group. 5. Teenagers from Baan Jing Jai had formed their own band and performed at the concert. 6. Musicians for Charity Group playing.

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May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 7


ScandAsia News Brief Hands Over a Letter of Credentials to HRH the Crown Prince

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enmark’s Ambassador to Thailand, Burma and Cambodia, Mr. Mikael Hemniti Winther, presented his Letter of Credentials to HRH the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on April 27th at Ambara Royal Palace in Bangkok. The Ambassador was accompanied to the Royal Palace by Minister of the Thai Protocol Department, Mr. Tawatchai Koopirom. Ambassador Winther was one of five Ambassadors presenting their Letters of Credentials at the ceremony. The Ambassador and his wife were accompanied to the Royal Palace by Minister of the Thai Protocol Department, Mr. Tawatchai Koopirom. Ambassador Winther was one of five Ambassadors presenting their Letters of Credentials at the ceremony.

Sydbank to Visit Thailand

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ydbank (Schweiz) AG is planning a visit to Bangkok, Thailand from Tuesday 17 May - Friday 20 May 2011 with Senior Vice President Allan Hvii himself undertaking the visit. Sydbank places great importance in visiting their customers frequently where they live in order to fully understand their requirements and at the same time participate in local activties important to the customers. During this visit, Sydbank will participate in and sponsor the Networking Event of the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday 18. May.

Allan Hvii, Senior Vice President, Sydbank (Schweiz) AG.

Members present at the first borad meeting from left: Anita Falk, Flemming Winther Nielsen, Claus Gundersen, Robert Kronberg and Par Hollertz. Not present are Vidar Starion and Johan Homlqvist.

New Board of Scandinavian Society Siam

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ollowing the Annual General Meeting on 26 April 2011, (see report in this issue) where a completely new Board was elected, the members of the new board met on 2 May 2011 to constitute itself as follows: Anita Falk, Chairman Robert Kronberg, Vice Chairman and Recording Secretary Claus Gundersen, Treasurer Flemming Winther Nielsen, Bulletin Editor Vidar Starion, Board Member Par Hollertz, Substitute Johan Holmqvist, Substitute The first board meeting, which took place at Anita Falk’s Cafe Europa in Sukhumvit Soi 20, identified among the priority tasks at hand the need to review and consolidate the different member lists in order to be able to invoice the members for the 2011-2012 term. The board also looked into possible dates for a Crayfish Party after the summer. Contact details to members of the new board are found on http://www.sss.or.th/

First Pandora Shop Opens in Thailand

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he first outlet selling the Danish jewellery Pandora opened in Thailand Tuesday the 26th of April. The Ambassador H.E. Mikael Hemniti Winther was invited to give the opening speech and cutting the ribbon. The new Pandora shop-in-shop is located in the exclusive Siam Paragon Department Store at the M floor. Pandora designs, manufactures and markets hand finished, modern jewellery, produced in genuine silver, gold and with gemstones, at affordable prices. Pandora has experience a great interest for their innovative products and is today selling to more than 55 countries on six continents. Pandora was founded in 1982 by goldsmith Per Enevoldsen and his former Danish wife. The company is today publicly listed on the NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen Stock exchange in Denmark. The headquarter is in Copenhagen.

Interior of Pandora Jewelry Store.

8 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011


IFU Reopens for Investments in Thailand

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FU, the Danish Investment fund for developing countries, reopens for co-investments with Danish companies in Thailand. This gives Danish companies interested in doing business in Thailand the opportunity to partner and share the financial risk with a Fund with great experience from setting up companies in Thailand. “Thailand is a promising market with a solid potential for Danish businesses, and I hope that IFU’s re-entry will increase the interest and investments by Danish companies in the country,” says Finn Jønck, Managing Director of IFU. IFU operates as an investor and is prepared to share the financial risk with a Danish company. IFU’s investments are made on commercial terms in the form of share capital and loans and are made directly in a company established in the host country. IFU’s resumption of investments in Thailand has been made possible after the Danish government has decided to increase the Fund’s focus on emerging markets. IFU has made investments in Thailand since 1975, but in 2009 IFU had to stop making new investments in the country, because Thailand had surpassed the income limit regulating which countries the fund can invest in. The income limit has now been doubled and Thailand is among the countries being reopened. Until 2009, IFU participated in establishing 28 companies in Thailand, whereas IFU is still engaged in 12 of these. IFU has therefore kept track of developments in Thailand’s business community despite the temporary stop for new investments. The Embassy is ready to assist Danish Companies interested in or already doing business in Thailand. The Embassy has great experience from helping companies in areas as finding the right partner, evaluate market potential, identifying distribution channels and etc. Danish companies interested in learning more about joint investment with IFU are welcome to contact the Embassy at bkkamb@um.dk or IFU at ifu@ifu.dk or +45 33 63 75 00.

HortiQ in Khao Yai is one of several succesful investments by IFU in Thailand.

May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 9


The Viking Cup 2011

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Battle in Bangkok The much anticipated regional Viking Cup football tournament was this year held in Bangkok from 21 - 24 April with nerve-wrecking matches at Harrow’s International school and a fulfilling Gala Dinner at the Pullman Hotel to end the weekend. By Kristene Silva Marie Photos by Vinai Dithajohn

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he much anticipated annual Viking Cup this year kicked off at a welcome party with buffet dinner and drinks at the Pullman Hotel. After a fun time of merriment and mingling, each team showcased a video presentation and group drawing for the tournament. The 10 teams that participated this year were Bangkok Vikings (Team 1 and 2), Beijing Vikings, Hong Kong Vikings (Team 1 and 2), Jakarta Vikings, Kuala Lumpur (KL) Vikings, Shanghai Vikings, Singapore Vikings and Sing-Jing Vikings. The matches began on 22 April, at the Harrow’s International School football pitch. With each team competing against each other, it was a time of encouragement, frustration and intense focus. As the morning began to pass with one team after another battling it out on the field, the heat began to increase making uncomfortably hot and humid. Each match lasted 20 minutes the first half and then another 20 minutes the second half. Excitement heightened amongst the spectators as the host, Bangkok

Vikings (Team 1) played against 2010 Viking Cup champions, KL Vikings. Despite the hot weather, cries of aggressive support and encouragement could be heard from not only the spectators but also the players on other teams as they cheered for their favourite team. The competing teams were seen to be ferociously fighting to dominate possession over the ball when the KL Vikings scored their first goal. Although downcast, the Bangkok Vikings did not allow their disappointment to discourage them. Both teams continued to play hard and the Bangkok Vikings finally scored after half time making the final score a tie of 1-1. The entire tournament experience was a good time for the players to let loose and get drowned in the game. Even the increasingly hot and humid weather did not deter the players’ spirit from trying to score a goal for their team. Some of the players and spectators had flown in to Bangkok from different continents and home countries particularly for the tournament. This showed their commitment to their favourite teams and

yearning for them to become champions of the Cup. As a normality for any sports, some players were injured due to the rush and intense focus on the ball. The leg injuries, though not too serious, were bad enough to put many of the players on the bench unable to play at all the rest of the game.

Stormy Finale The next day, 23 April, began another long round of matches to determine the final four teams. After each team played against their opponents giving the game their best, the final four teams were determined. They were Bangkok Vikings (team 1 and 2), Singapore Vikings and Shanghai Vikings. However it was an unexpected end for the Viking Cup match as before the final match was over, it had begun raining during the match between the KL Vikings and the Hong Kong Vikings. The KL Vikings were leading with 1-0 against Hong Kong during the first half of the game when the rain started pouring heavily down.

Top: The Bangkok Vikings (Team 1) vs KL Vikings match was tough fight. Even spectators were at the edge of their seat. The final score was a 1-1 tie. Bottom left: The Singapore women are seen here to be energetically cheering on their favourite Vikings, set with pom-poms to go with their cheer routine. Bottom right: A tough shot by the Shanghai Vikings in a match against The Bangkok Vikings (Team 2) saved by the goalkeeper

May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 11


This, however, did not stop the players from giving their best. They continued playing through the rain before the storm got worse as though to put a definite end to the game. As the storm got worse, the players and spectators were forced to run into the school building with their belongings as quickly as they could. Many could be seen carrying their children and important things as they ran to the building. Some who stayed on the field thinking the storm would subside, changed their minds and took off as well as the storm only settled some 30 minutes later. Unable to hold the final match, the organisers of the event had come up with on, or two champions for the tournament which was to be announced at the Gala Dinner later that evening.

Gala Dinner The dinner was an interesting, entertaining and deliciously fun event. Each team dressed in certain themes and some wore costumes that made them stand out more than others. The Singapore and KL Vikings dressed as cheerleaders, the Hong Kong Vikings in white sailor uniforms and Jakarta Vikings wore fedoras as an elegant touch to their formal attire. As there had been no final match to determine the champion, the title of the Viking Cup champion 2011 was given to two of the highest scoring teams, Singapore and the Bangkok Vikings (Team 2).

and the men’s was that the women were required to drink in smaller quantity and with lesser members to a team. The five women teams that competed were Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing and Jakarta. Singapore women’s team walked away winners with 21 seconds as their record. As the evening wore on after the competition, everyone present was just in the mood of relaxing and having fun. Entertaining the crowd was a Thai girl band, Unicorns, who usually play at the Titanium bar. They played performed through the night and with their lively performances. Everybody was able to relax and enjoy other teams in good spirits.

There was cheering and jeering alike from all the other teams present as the winners went up on stage to collect their prize. The winning teams chanted their individual team chants energetically and received golden hats which served as trophies. The third and fourth place went to the Shanghai Vikings and the Bangkok Vikings (Team 2) respectively. Later, the Jakarta Vikings were announced to be hosting Viking Cup 2012 and were invited on stage to give a performance and a brief introduction. They said that the tournament next year will take place in Yangon, Myanmar. They also included a rhyme as a little tribute to the Bangkok Viking Cup. The rest of the night was spent with many exciting and entertaining events including live band performance and the Beer Drinking competition.

down one mug of Chang beer leaving little or no excess at the bottom. Other teams in the hall could be seen quickly choosing team members and formulating strategies as to how they could complete their round in the fastest time. After all teams had competed, the three final teams were Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Beijing. Although the Shanghai was initially leading with the highest speed, due to the judges’ conclusion that there too much excess beer on their team, they were disqualified later. Finally, when the final round had ended, Beijing had won with 31 seconds as time. After that, they also had the Women’s Beer Drinking competition. The difference between this

Beer Galore

Bottom: The Jakarta team competing in the Beer Drinking Competition. After much deliberation, the Beijing team won the competition.

As it has been a Viking Cup tradition, every year after the long string of matches with various opponents, the one affair all the players practically wait for is the Beer Drinking Competition. This year was no different. As the Gala Dinner began at the Pullman Hotel, the competition had yet again made its mark as the heart and focus of the night. As the competition commenced and the Shanghai Vikings took their place to get the ball rolling, the audience stood up to watch in anticipation how fast each member could

12 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

Top: The winners of the Viking Cup football tournament, the Singapore Vikings and Bangkok “Team 2” Vikings announced.


The Viking Cup Organ The Viking Cup in April this year in Bangkok was organized by Johan Muhlman, Chris Lundqvist, the assistant coach, and Stein Krakholm.

We were worried that it had been run for so long by the Danes in Bangkok, that maybe we would not able to pull off or maintain the Viking Cup culture.

By Kristene Silva Marie

Johan Muhlman manages Oriflame’s regional forecasting team and coaches the Bangkok Vikings football team. These two make up a complete living for Johan.

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t was 1998 when Johan Muhlman arrived in Thailand, on Phuket, through his job at a Swedish traveling company, Vingresor. As an accountant at one of the biggest Swedish-Danish companies, Johan usually got sent a lot to different countries on sixmonth-long trips. When he reached Phuket in 1998, he was to stay for six months before leaving again in 1999 but he had liked his stay there so soon, in 2001, he was back as the regional area controller through the same company. Later, he had opportunities to work for a software company owned by a friend but things took a turn and soon Johan was out of job. He admitted that it was tough during those times when he was unemployed. When the cloud finally passed Johan got a job in a property company, Plantation, in Bangkok itself. He started working there and continued for more than two years before he met Thomas Ekberg, Oriflame’s Regional Director in Asia who got him into Oriflame, the company he serves until today. Johan had approached Thomas about sponsoring the football team which he had joined. As the conversation wore on, Thomas invited Johan to work at Oriflame. He was

given a job as Regional Forecasting Manager, started in January 2008 and still holds that position up until today.

Working Johan’s job requires him to work closely with the marketing department. Together with his team, of three female employees, they scout around for Oriflame’s future market prospects in Asia. Apart from that part of his duty is to analyse the results of sales in Asia and follow up on how well each product sells periodically. “We try to follow-up on why certain products did better than others and what can be improved for the future,” he explained. He said later that although Oriflame was founded in Sweden, the company is not very big in the Scandinavian region and that it is in fact biggest in Eastern Europe especially Russia with 60 percent total turnover coming from them. This, he suggests, is because Oriflame is a familiar brand name to the European market whereas in Asia, it is still quite a new brand but is picking up fast. He added that Oriflame’s biggest consumers in Asia are Indonesia, India and China as there had been Oriflame branches set up in these countries for a longer time

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than other Asian countries like Thailand. One of the reasons he is contented with his job is because he likes working with his colleagues, who are a mix of foreigners and locals. “They are always smiling and in a good mood, which I really like,” he said about his colleagues. However, Johan also mentioned some struggles he faces at work with the difference in work culture and ethics than he is used to in Sweden, such as procrastination. He admitted that sometimes he has to put in deliberate effort to get certain results and must keep following up or checking the progress of a particular task. Most of the time, the punctuality in delivering results is the main issue. This is where he has to make sure to follow up and get what he needs on time and not just leave it unattended. Concerning the punctuality of his co-workers for getting to the office although questionable is most of the time due to the bad traffic. “Everyone is given some time allowance about 15 or 20 minutes to get to the office, because of the traffic,” Johan said. Johan enjoys his job not only because of the atmosphere and people but also because one of the

perks of his job is traveling. He currently travels off and on to Shanghai, China every quarter-yearly for follow up meetings on the market and to go through certain processes.

Football Johan joined the football team in 2004 when he found out about it from a friend who was playing in the team. At the time, 90% of the team was made up of Danish who had been in Thailand for quite a long time. Soon, many of those who had been in the team moved back to Denmark together with Chris Lundqvist (Swede), the assistant coach, and Stein Krakholm (Norwegian), who arrived around the same time as he, Johan started organising and coordinating the team. As a coach, he sends out emails to the members of the team informing them of schedules, matches and players. They train every Wednesday to keep fit and have fun. “The main reason for these football games is the socializing. We get together after the games and have a great time having meals or drinks,” he said. Currently, the sponsors for Scandinavian Vikings 10/11 season are BNH Hospital, Bangkok Condos, Infinity, One One Two Residence, and Jebsen & Jessen.


niser Viking Cup Bangkok “This was the first time since 2001 that we arranged it, but it is the first time in Bangkok,” Johan said concerning the success of the event this year. The entire event had costed an average of 1.7 million Baht not including the players’ accommodation at the Pullman Hotel. He explains that the Viking Cup is only known amongst the football community and that the organisers don’t see it yet as a big event for other spectators. It’s more for the players and their families or girlfriends, similar to a family day or a fun vacation But this year there had been more spectators than the previous years. In Beijing 2009, there were around 220, then it increased in Singapore 2010 and this year it was up at around 280 spectators in all. Johan said there was a little worry this year as it had been run for so long by the Danes in Bangkok, that maybe they were not able to pull off or maintain the Viking Cup culture. “But after this year’s event, many of the players came over and congratulated us saying it was really good. It felt good to hear them agree and feel that the event was worth all the effort that had been put in by all the players alike,” he said.

Move to Thailand “It wasn’t my plan, actually, to stay on this long. I thought I was going to work one year and then go back,”

Johan said. “But things took a turn when he reached and saw the different culture, weather, people and food,” he continued. After he moved from Sweden in 1997, Johan will officially have been in Thailand for 10 years this October. When asked about some of the things that attracted him to Thailand he said “I really like Thai food, the difference in its taste just had me.” He also said the weather, people and environment here was so much more different than it was in Sweden and he liked the differences. Johan goes back to Sweden two times a year, during the summer holidays and Christmas. He said although he has been thinking about it, he is unsure when he is going to go home to settle down there. “Now when I go home to my parents, they feel that I think differently than I did 10 years ago,” he said continuing “I guess the more you stay in one place, the more your mind conforms to the way they think until it becomes you.” If there was a regret he could pinpoint, it would be that he is not able to speak Thai properly. Although he can understand and speak some words, he said he can’t really express himself well in Thai which he hopes he will be able to some day. “Wherever I go, I am Swedish because it is home but now, when I come back to Thailand after the holidays, I also feel I’m home.”

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May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 15


The Hard Wood and

Hundreds of elephants worked in the timber concessions in the north of Thailand. There was no other way that the trees could be pulled out of the often remote and hilly areas inside dense tropical forest.

EAC obtained its second teak concession around year 1900, this time in and beyond Phrae Province, Northern Thailand. It was really in a big scale; the land, fully allocated, was nearly 5.000 km2, almost the size of Zealand in Denmark. The teak and other hardwood trees grew in small groups spread over the rocky and trackless mountainous terrain. Hundreds of elephants did the hard work of getting the logs through the tropical forests down to the river Yom. By Flemming Winther Nielsen

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he Yom river, just a creek in the dry season, is running through Phrae on its long and winding journey south, to meet first Nan River, then Chaophraya, the mother of waters, in Nakhon Sawan. It often took more than three years for the logs to reach Bangkok and the EAC sawmill there. Young Ernst Mazar de la Garde from Ribe in Denmark was hired as Forest Assistant in 1908. He travelled the most direct way, but it took nine days to reach Phrae from Bangkok. First the train to Phitsanulok, where the rails then ended; then towed in houseboat to Uttaradit and finally by elephants and horse back to Phrae. On wheels nowadays this route is also the shortest, 581 kilometers, but it can be done in a day, no pleasure.

Driving to Phrae today A stamp was important to distinguish logs floating down stream from the various concessionaires. The year is 2476 (1933) so we can presume it was used for the logs sent floating that year. 16 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

Going to Phrae earlier this year we took the slow and longer route via Tak. The first night we spend there by river Ping. Then on to Lampang, still using the old highway number 1 that ends in Chiang Rai. On the route northeast out of Lampang, direction Chiang Rai,


Work

there are still teak trees to be seen, especially in the pass of Baan Pratoo Pa, with Phrae province to the south. Some have survived since they have been ordained as monks with the saffron robe around them. Another reason we decided for this detour was to visit the memorial place for Captain Hans Marqvard Jensen of the Siamese Gendarmerie who got killed up here.

Hans Marqvard Jensen From Lampang you first drive on a plateau with that wide and harmonic view which you find only in northern Thailand; especially in the still pale morning light before nine o clock. Then the road leads into a valley and starts winding uphill and you see the mountains on both sides, they come closer and closer. Eventually you reach Baan Maeka Tok Wak at kilometer stone 829, shortly before the town of Phayao. It was here Hans fell in battle October 14, 1902, 24 years old, while pursuing the remains of the Shan rebels he had earlier almost crushed in front of Lampang town (read more in Scandasia, October and December 2009). The memorial is still here and in good shape, but it took some time to find it. The monument is obviously be-

ing kept clean, the inscription is very clear; the horses and elephants symbolize the modes of transport used by the gendarmerie. The inscription reads, in direct translation by Pornpan Boonpattanaporn:

duty suppressing Ngaew [Shan] rebels in Phayao. Was ambushed by Ngaew rebels by the road at Ban Mae Ka Ta Kam Phayao. Was Thai policeman of Danish blood, born in BE 2431 [1878]. Died on the 14. Of October 2445 [1902].

Captain H.M. Jensen Age 24 years, Danish ‘Was invited by Lieutenant Colonel Phraya Wasutiep [alias Gustav Schau] to be a policeman in Provincial Police Department in BE 2443 [1900]. Later, was promoted to Captain in the position as trainer in the provincial police in Chiang Mai. Died while on

It seems that also Danes visit this most remote place; there is a little Danish flag and many offers. We gave our offer to the brave Captains spirit; stayed on for a while and then went back and took highway 103 south from Ngao to the old fortress town of Phrae. The hills and mountains are green and quite

The Head Quarters of the teak concessions of the East Asiatic Company in Phrae is today a museum. The inserted image shows the carts that the logs were sometimes transported on, once the elephants had pulled them out of the dense forest.

The impressive monument over Captain Hans Marqvard Jensen shows clearly how important the Thai government sees the young Dane’s heroic defense of Lampang.

Note There will be an article about Major-General Gustav Schau in a coming edition of the magazine. He was a most remarkable man and the only foreign officer of high rank in the Royal Thai Army - ever. May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 17


low trees are growing, but there are none of the 30 - 40 meters old teaks with the branches starting around 20 - 30 meters up. While you drive here you don’t need to have your eyes glued to the tarmac all the time and it is not so tiring to drive long distances. The highways in Northern Thailand are often of high standard but with less traffic. The local MP’s always and successfully advocates the best highways for their constituencies; their uncles are often also the contractors, practical.

EAC in Phrae The Shans tribe’s people who worked in the mines east of Muang Phrae felt most exploited and oppressed by the stationed Siamese authorities, they burned down the fortified town in 1902, killed the governor, some 20 staff and also the few Siamese locals. The gendarmes of the substation were there to protect property, local or foreign, but they fled the scene, leaving their modern Mannlicher-Schoenhauer rifles behind for the Shans to pick up. There were no trained officers and Hans Marqvard Jensen never reached the town. According to letters to EAC in Bangkok from Forest Manager J. Fengers, the compound of the city Phrae was left untouched by the uprising. It now sits near the river and just within what is left of the ramparts and moat, in the southern part of the medieval town, Muang Phrae. It is a peaceful and shady place with the colonial style buildings placed practical around, there are many old oak-like trees Furthermore a little area with teaks, provided with their Latin names. In the former EAC head office there is an excellent little teak museum. This museum and the pleasant compound is not on the list of tourist attractions for Phrae Province, it belongs to ‘Forestry Training Center’, 33 Koom-Derm Road, Nai Vieng, Muang Phrae’, telephone 054 511 048.

The golden wood By the staircase of the headquarters is exhibited an early EAC invention. In order to lessen the burden for the elephants pushing the logs for long distances down to the river, the pieces were placed on heavy carts. The elephant or a buffalo was then harnessed and thus had a much easier pull. Later more and more advanced equipment were brought to use, but the elephants remained necessary to get the logs down from the rocks and cliffs. 18 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

Many teak trees near Baan Pratoo Pa have been ordained as monks with the saffron robe around them to prevent them from being logged. Below logs floating down the local stream in the old days. Another interesting item is the stamp or hallmark. Along the rivers in the north, mainly Ping, Nan and Yom there were many companies holding teak-concessions and they all floated their timber downstream towards Bangkok. It was, of course, necessary that all and every log could be identified; therefore those of EAC were branded with this stamp. The year is 1933, so we can presume it was used for the logs sent floating that year. Furthermore there was the royalty to be paid. In Nakhon Sawan the King’s clerks counted the stamps on the logs from each concession and cashed in the substantial fee. Around Nakhon Sawan rafts were made of the logs, the rafts were then manned 24 hours Theft was rampant; the thieves hid the wood in the swamps and then demanded ransom from the crew of the rafts to get it back. But here The Provincial Gendarmerie under Phraya Vasuthiep, alias Lieutenant-Colonel Gustav Schau, showed efficiency; by setting up sub-stations along the critical parts of the river. They managed to reduce the theft to almost zero, securing that all of the very valuable teak reached the companies in Bangkok, as fast as possible. Also images of the long forest saws with handles in both ends can be seen. But for many years they were not in use. Mountain tribe people, ‘kamuks’ named, formed the logging teams; they were the experts and they preferred their own axes with long shafts but small blades. First they ‘ringed’ the chosen trees, they were normally at least 50 years old; cut a ring the whole way round, quite deep. Then the tree died and dried out. After a year it was then logged and now the wood would float on the water, cut fresh the hardwood would sink. In the museum there are of course many photos and other images of the elephants. The photos are old and yellowed, often dark. In the tropical forest here, the trees and other vegetations prevent the daylight from reaching the forest floor. But neither on the compound, nor in the forests of Phrae did we meet any elephants, not even their dung; they have left forever, maybe they are in Bangkok.


More Spotlight on

Flemming Bo Sørensen, founder of Oriental Invest, was lucky to have his Oriental Mountain View project shown in the Danish TV-program, ”Hammerslag”. Now a similar Danish TV program “Til Salg” will showcase his new Oriental Beach Pearl project as well. By Steen Poulin Nielsen

20 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

F

lemming Bo Sørensen is the founder of Oriental Invest. A real estate developer company with two ongoing projects; the Oriental Mountain View and the Oriental Beach Pearl, both in the HuaHin area. Mountain View completed building the final house a few weeks ago and Beach Pearl is in its fase one an two out of three fases. The Director of Sales, Peer Runge Salling has been very busy selling, at this time 26 out of the 36 houses are sold. Mountain view was lucky enough to get the sale boosted when the project was shown in the popular Danish TV-program, ”Hammerslag”. Now a similar thing is happening to the Beach Pearl project as TV3 is shooting for a similar program called ”Til Salg”. ”We are different from a number of other developers in Thailand”, Flemming Bo Sørensen says and continues: ”When you are in the market for a home in Thailand arriving in Bangkok, you got absolutely no chance to research on every important issue as deeds, contracts, yel-

low book and blue book. You got to find yourself a partner you can trust”. Both Danes tells that trust is the most important part of the business at Oriental. ”I live here at the Beach Pearl. We know that about 10 percent of people renting a house here are potential buyers. They want to look at the facilities and to get the feeling of Beach Pearl. It is important that I am around to answer questions and to provide information helping them to make the right decision”, Salling says. According to Flemming Bo Sørensen the typical costumer might be a slightly changing character. Previously, the buyer was close to finish, or was no longer, working. Now Oriental has many families with children as buyers too, the typical buyer is from the late 30s to the mid 60s.

Oriental values Flemming Bo Sørensen is founding his Oriental business on classic and old school values as trust and to promise the custumer a little less than delivered.


Oriental Invest

”We are collecting happy costumers, we are looking for continued business and our costumers are the best ambassadors for Oriental. That said, you will always find a costumer you can not satisfy even if you install water tabs of gold”, Sørensen says. The Oriental brand is build on the concept to offer a quality just above average at a price just below average. According to the founder, the lower gross margin is fully compensated by a higher turn over. Because the costumers recognize when they see value for their money. ”It is vital for Oriental, that our costumers are offered both the joy of being the owner of a beautiful house and that their money are safe invested, not put at risk”, Sørensen tells and explains that no house from any of his projects are re-sold with a loss for the costumer.

Oriental Beach Pearl For the first time the founder felt the need for foreign money in order to put the Beach Pearl into reality. Due to the size of the project investors from Denmark were invited to join

Oriental and buy the land. According to the plan Oriental will buy out the investors during the second half of this year and the project is again fully financed by Oriental which eliminates the risk of bankrupcy. ”We are aiming for high quality at all levels. For the piling we use 6 meter long piles. The clima in Thailand can easily cause damages on the building if the foundation is not sufficient”, the founder tells. The walls in the Orient projects are double walls of red bricks, just like quality buildings in Denmark. Double walls means a warm outer wall and a cool inner wall. The houses will be handed over with build-in aircons and Danish kitchens from Kvik. ”The flat roofs on our houses adds many square meters to the homes. With a rooftop outdoor kitchen, jacuzzi and sitting area this is the place to be in the tropical evenings in Hua Hin”,

Why buying a house in Thailand Oriental offers a turn-key solution to the market. The typical buyer are

investing some of his savings or pension funding and buys a house in a quality similar to a Danish house. ”We offer the house owner to rent out their house. At the same time a house is sold the costumer gets a five year leasing agreement and the rent for all five years will be transferred into the costumers banking account”, Peer Runge Salling says. The Sales Director explains that buying a Beach Pearl house seems to be a good investment. With the lease agreement and the value of own holidays, he call it a seven to eight percent return of the investment. If the estimated increase of pricing on real estate in HuaHin is added about 10% per year, a Beach Pearl house seems to outperform a number of alternative investments.

To the left Flemming Bo Sørensen being interviewed for the TV program “Til Salg” to be aired in Denmark on TV3 this autumn. Above one of the villas in the Oriental Beach Pearl village. In the far left bottom corner you see Peer Runge Salling, the sales director of Oriental Invest, driving his special designed yellow golf car.

The Oriental Future The founder is continuously developing ideas for new projects. He already has a new project on his desk. ”I can not tell you much about it right now as I do not want to share my ideas with the competition. But it will be a small and exclusive project. Think about water, but not

beach life. A unique project, the first of its kind”, Flemming Bo Sørensen says. And as usual the new project will offer a quality above average at a price below average, according to the founder.

May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 21


Action! Speed, kick, Climb and Rock Climbing in Thailand

R

ock climbing in Thailand is a thrilling adventure. Experienced climbers from all over the world come here for the unique combination of an unforgettable vacation and adrenalin pumping adventure in a breath taking scenery. After a day of climbing, you can relax at your resort pool or go to the beach for a dip, then perhaps get a relaxation or sports massage.

Where to climb? The best places to climb are found in Southern Thailand where lime

stone formations offer a multitude of climbs from single- to multi-pitch routes. Mostly right off the beach. Climbers can also climb on islands scattered throughout Phra Nang bay The classic Thai climbing experience is found in Railay and Tonsai in Krabi province. However, many climbers stay a short boat-ride away in Ao Nang because there are more restaurants and other services than Railay. Home to two of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, the limestone cliffs of Thailand’s magnificent Phra Nang peninsula that form Railay / Tonsai are world-famous

22 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

among rock-climbers and are quite simply astoundingly beautiful. Some amazing new prime destinations for climbers and non-climbers alike are Koh Lao Liang, Koh Yao Noi. New climbing sites inland from Ao Nang are also being developed. If you are in the North of Thailand, a rock formation called Crazy Horse Buttress has also been developed with many routes secured.

Beginners Railay remains a very popular destination for anyone wanting to experience rock climbing. Railay’s 1-2-3 crag is almost the ideal place for

beginners. However, if you are a resident in Thailand, you should try to find a time out of the season to go there, as the high season is getting really crowded. When some of the guides attend to four or five climbers and they all shout directions to each their climber it can be quite confusing. What your instructor is shouting - is that now meant for you - or is he indeed your instructor?

Experienced Climbers If you are an experienced climber, your focus should be on finding a good partner. It is important to be


jump

Active vacations are getting more and more popular along with the traditional adventures and thrills of Thailand. Rock climbing in Thailand offers climbing opportunities of world class quality for both beginners and expert climbers. Rafting is another possibility where Thailand provides plenty of opportunities in the most beautiful surroundings in the world. It does not have to be as dangerous as all that - just a trip on a bamboo rafts is a great experience too. Bicycling is also an option. Now you can enjoy the turquoise waters, white sand and lush jungles of Southern Thailand on bicycle, riding from resort to resort on smooth tarmac roads.

careful, as your partner poses the greatest danger to your safety.

moment you fall off and drop into the water - and start again.

Deep Water Solo

Safety

Deep Water soloing in Thailand is the ultimate tropical climbing experience. Climb straight out of a boat with just your climbing shoes and your chalk bag - and your shorts unless you really want to show off. No bolts or slings. No rope and gear. You can push yourself to your limit with no fear of consequence. Your flow is not interrupted by placing gear, clipping a bolt or worrying about safety. Just you and the rock until the

When conducted on well developed sites that have been scaled and absailed by hundreds of new and experienced climbers before you, rock climbing is not dangerous. But it is challenging and if you loose your concentration you might slip and get some scratches. Beginner courses will focus on the basics of top-rope climbing, the easiest, simplest, and safest way to climb. You will learn the mechanics of the top-rope system, how to be-

lay, and basic technique. Next you will learn the basics of rappelling (abseiling) based on your new skills of top-roping and belaying. To improve safety even further, some routes and crags at Railey / Tonsai have recently been re-bolted using very expensive - but noncorrosive - titanium bolts. Bolts are ultimately the key to the safety of climbing. So if you are worried, ask your climbing instructor what kind of bolts are used on the particular route you will be climbing.

course on what you need included in terms of equipment and how many other people you will share the instructor with. A fair price would be a one day course for 2000 to 3000 baht or a three day course for 6000 to 8000 baht. A couple could also share a private guide for 5,000 baht a day.

Prices The cost of climbing depend of May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 23


Rafting in Thailand R

afting, whitewater or not, is growing as a recreational outdoor activity worldwide. When rafting an inflatable boat is used and the raft goes downstream in a river with passengers equipped with helmets, buoyancy vests and paddles trying to navigate the raft though the stream avoiding rocks and other obstacles. Rafting is considered an extreme sport but the activity has many faces; from the cosy and easy ride on the river to the death threatening manoeuvres in wild whitewaters. You will only need little equipment for DIY-rafting but for rafting rookies doing rafting on your own can not be recommended. And it is not difficult to find a tour operating company near a suitable river. A few minutes on Google and you will get plenty of options.

Easy or dangerous To describe the challenge waiting on the river most companies will use the International Scale of River Difficulty. It is a standardized scale used to rate the safety of a stretch of river.

The grade reflects the technical difficulty and skill level required associated with the section of river. Below are the six grades of difficulty in whitewater rafting. They range from simple to very dangerous and potential death or serious injuries. Grade 1: Very small rough areas, might require slight maneuvering. (Skill Level: Very Basic) Grade 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require some maneuvering. (Skill level: basic paddling skill) Grade 3: Whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering. (Skill level: experienced paddling skills) Grade 4: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed. (Skill level: whitewater experience) Grade 5: Whitewater, large waves, large volume, possibility of large rocks and hazards, possibility of a large drop, requires precise maneuvering. (Skill level: advanced whitewater experience) Grade 6: Class 6 rapids are consid-

24 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

ered to be so dangerous as to be effectively unnavigable on a reliably safe basis. Rafters can expect to encounter substantial whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, and/or substantial drops that will impart severe impacts beyond the structural capacities and impact ratings of almost all rafting equipment. Traversing a Class 6 rapid has a dramatically increased likelihood of ending in serious injury or death compared to lesser classes. (Skill level: successful completion of a Class 6 rapid without serious injury or death i s widely considered to be a matter of great luck or extreme skill)

Preparations To prepare for a rafting trip in Thailand sunglasses is a nice-to-have. Being a good swimmer is naturally an advantage but many non-swimmers also go on rafting trips, which they can because of the use of a buoyancy vest. More important than being able to swim is being in good physical condition. White rafting can be demanding, and your companions on the raft will not appreciate to share the experience with you, if you are unable to assist paddling.

If you should fall into the water one of the most simple ways to avoid injury is not to panic, just swim to a so called Eddy, which is a calm spot behind a rock in the water which the current disperses around to avoid being taken downstream. For inexperienced rafters, companies recommend starting off with a Grade 3 trip. This provides a lot of excitement without too many risks or exhaustion. Senior citizens or families with young children may want to try a Grade 2 river. Following these simple suggestions can help make your next white water rafting trip an experience you to remember for years to come.

Where to go Thailand provides plenty of rafting opportunities in the most beautiful surroundings. In the North you can go rafting on Mae Tang River valley near Chiang Mai, on the Pai River in northern of Chiang Mai or Wa River near the Thai-Laos border. In the Tak province you can go rafting on the Mae Khlong River. Down south the places to look for rafting adventures will be on the Phang Nga river.


Sunda Resort Krabi RELAX & ENJOY THE NATURE AT ITS BEST!!!!!

Come stay with us at Sunda Resort, where you will always be welcomed with a warm, friendly smile. You will experience nature at its best in the tranquil, garden setting and are just fews minute to beautiful Nopparat Thara beach. Make Sunda Resort your “Home Away From Home” and discover the true hospitality of Thailand - The Land of Smiles. Sunda Resort 19 Moo. 3, Ao-Nang, Muang Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel: +66 7566 1262-4, +66 89 230 9019 Fax: +66 7566 1266 E-mail: info@sundaresort.com, sales@sundaresort.com Website: www.sundaresort.com

Feel Refreshed at Fineday

“Many a Fine Day” is what we would like you to experience here at Krabi Fineday Resort. We are located in the Aonang-Haad Noppharatthara area. Here you can enjoy nature at its best and fully appreciate the tranquility of life. All guestrooms are designed as Thai style cottages, nestled closely to the abundant nature, where the stunning landscape will remind you of a tropical garden. Krabi Fineday Resort 239 Moo 5, Aonang, Muang, Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel: +66 7566 1040-1 Fax: +66 7566 1042 E-mail: reservation@krabifinedayresort.com, info@krabifinedayresort.com www.krabifinedayresort.com


Across Thailand on Bicycle

S

outhern Thailand offers turquoise waters, white sand and lush jungles and what better way to see some of the best ones than by riding from resort to resort on smooth tarmac roads. SpiceRoads is one of very few specialist cycle tour operators in Asia. The operator now offers a route through Southern Thailand designed to take the participants off the main roads as much as possible so they can explore scenic areas around Khanom, Khao Sok, Khao Lak and Phuket. The tour starts in Nakhon Si Thammarat, one of the most ancient cities of Thailand, with a visit to the famous temple there that contains a tooth relic of Buddha. Then the ride goes north along pristine beaches to Khanom before heading inland to spend the night on floating rafts on Cheow Larn lake. The group rides on the edge of Khao Sok National Park to the beaches on the Andaman Sea. The tour ends at the resort island

of Phuket, where the bikers will be challenged by the hills while cycling but rewarded with beautiful sea views!

Itenerary Day 1 We meet in the southern city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and after a city tour have dinner and a trip briefing. Day 2 As we ride north to Khanom we’ll have the Gulf of Thailand and endless beaches on our right. A flat morning ride will be a good warmup for the rolling hills in the afternoon. Day 3 A long ride today as we head inland riding past rubber and coconut plantations and countless villages. Our is Cheow Larn lake where we’ll overnight on rafts and you can go for a swim directly from your raft. Day 4 A semi rest day with the morning is free kayak amidst the limestone karsts. After lunch we’ll be back on the bikes on an undulating road

26 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

that winds through a series of magnificent limestone cliffs and green jungle to our riverside lodge. Day 5 We ride along the edge of Khao Sok National Park to the outskirts of Takua Pa and see the old town with traditional wooden buildings intermixed with Portuguese colonial buildings. A quiet back road through small villages and shady rubber plantations bring us to a small waterfall for a cool off. Then we ride on to our beachside hotel on the Andaman Sea. Day 6 We ride backroads, along canals, past palm and rubber plantations, shrimp farms and along the beach to the bridge that connects the island of Phuket with the mainland. Fantastic views of the Andaman Sea are on offer on our way to our resort. Day 7 We’ll ride around the resort island of Phuket. There will be plenty of hills as we ride through rubber tree plantations and along endless beaches on this island tour.

Day 8 Catch a flight from Phuket international airport or extend your stay and enjoy the sun and sands of Phuket!

What is included The basic trip costs around 45.000 baht with extra for rent of a bike if needed. The tour price includes all accommodation, all meals apart from the occasional lunch on some noncycling days and maybe a dinner or two in big cities, so you can make some of your own culinary discoveries. The support vehicles carry your luggage and provide a place for you to rest if you get tired. Our staff will make any running repairs on your bike - and you as well, if necessary. During the rides, we keep you topped up with water, fruit, soft drinks and snacks and we make sure you get a nice cold drink - and usually a cold towel as well - at the end of each ride.


Visa Run by Motorbike By Niels Banke

I

was in Chiang Mai and it was time for a brief check-out of Thailand. My passport was in need for a stamp to refresh my Non-Immigrant Visa “B”. My first plan had been to join one of the day trips offered by various companies driving to the Mae Sai border point to Myanmar and back to Chiang Mai. But the weather was nice, the sun was shining and I believe that I heard the calling from the distant mountains; inviting me for a motorbike ride. So I changed my mind and went downtown to find a motorbike to rent. The bike I was looking for should be powerful enough to help me through the mountains and when I found a Kawasaki 650 Nina, I signed up and paid the rent for one day, 1.300 Baht. In this shop a working day is 24 hours. The bike was in good condition and no more than two years old. With its two cylinders and 73 hp this bike was not a bad choice at all.

28 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

I wanted to do this as a one day trip so I got up early the next morning and at 8 o’clock I was driving north out of Chiang Mai heading for Chiang Rai on Highway 18. The quality of the asphalt was just about good and the traffic was light. The distance from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai is 200 km and a good deal of it is on curvy roads in the mountains. The bike did a nice job on the serpentine road. Powerful enough to go uphill without loosing speed and it handled well on the downhill ride. The view was really enjoyable and the scents from the rain-forest was an added bonus. I had the pleasure to meet the Thai Police at several checkpoints. They just asked me where I came from and then I was ready to continue my ride. No documents were asked for. Entering Chiang Rai looking for Highway 1 to Mae Sai was a hot experience. At red traffic lights the combined heat from the Kawa-

saki engine and the unmerciful sun pushed me out of my comfort zone. Dressed in jeans and with a black full-face helmet a long, red light is not really what you want.

Highway 1 heading for Myanmar When cruising at +90 km/h the speed wind cooled me sufficiently down to reestablish a happy life inside the black helmet. The country was now flat farmland and the road from Chiang Rai is of good quality. Mae Sai is 60 km straight ahead. Arriving into Mae Sai I was welcomed by a tall building housing the Thai immigration. I parked the bike as the shop did not allow me to drive a rented bike into Myanmar. I left Thailand and walked the 50 meters across the bridge to the Myanmar immigration. Handed out my passport together with 500 Baht required. The passport stayed with the Myanmar immigration, ready for me to pick up when leaving The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Shopping at the local market on the Burmese side of the border was a bit disappointing. It seems to me they offer just about the same kind of stuff as at any Thai market except the prices were a bit lower. One difference was the persistent street vendors selling cigarettes and suspiciously looking packs of Viagra. Then I was back on the bridge and walking back to Thailand. At the checkpoint I picked up my passport in exchanged for the temporary document I had received when entering Myanmar. Next stop was the Thai immigration where I filled out the usual arrival/departure card and I was now ready for another 90 days stay before I have to check out again. When I got back up on the bike, it was into the afternoon and I drove south back the way I came in the setting sun. When I reached Chiang Mai it was just in time - ten minutes before the bike shop closed.


A chance to completely unwind and enjoy the serene scenery found on Koh Phangan and in

“The natural you need we all have here�

Salad Buri Resort & Spa

Salad Beach ReSoRt

welcome to paradise of you holiday and stay in a peaceful nature.

Salad Buri Resort & Spa 60/2 Moo 8, Haad Salad, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 77 349 146, +66 (0) 77 349 147 / Fax: +66 (0) 77 349 148 Email: saladburi@yahoo.com / www.saladburi.com

Salad Beach Resort Haad Salad Koh Phangan Suratthani 84280 Thailand Tel: 66 (0) 77 349 149, 66 (0) 77 349 274 Fax: 66 (0) 77 349 275 www.phangan-saladbeachresort.com Email: rsvn@phangan-saladbeachresort.com


Koh Jum Lodge Worth Your Visit

Special Promotion Rates at Tharathip Resort Koh Phangan

K

oh Jum Lodge is situated on the island of Koh Jum, between Krabi, Lanta and Phi Phi islands. Cosy cottages in traditional Andaman style are set in a natural coconut plantation and tropical gardens. Thai eco-resort with a natural individual charm... Koh Jum Lodge is composed of sixteen wooden cottages designed in the traditional architectural style and set within a coconut palm plantation and tropical garden setting. All cottages are located near the beach, facing Phi Phi Island to the West, all benefiting from sunset and sea view. The “ Robinson style “ cottages are spacious, 50 square meters plus bathroom, and decorated with local materials such as bamboo, rattan, cotton and silk. Your suite room is equipped with a large king size bed with mosquito net, a large living room corner with sofa and arm chair, a bathroom with shower and toilets facilities, a large terrace with hammock facing the sea. All the cottages are individually equipped to provide sufficient energy for electric fan and lighting. At the center of the Lodge the main complex comprises two large locally styled buildings with the reception and lobby area with a library stocked with multi languages books, in-door games, large Tv/Dvd screen and an Internet corner, with sea view, for our in-house guests. You will enjoy a panoramic sea facing restaurant offering sea food, Thai and Mediterranean cuisine, tropical beach bar and a swimming pool. In the tropical garden, for afternoon naps, there are “Salas” and bamboo hammocks, mattresses on the beach, a Thai traditional Massage Sala, and a petanque area. For more information, please contact: Koh Jum Lodge 286 Moo 3, T. Koh Siboya, Nua Klong district, Krabi 81130, Thailand. Phone: (66-75) 618 275 (International call), 075 618 275 (Local call). Phone/Fax: (66-75) 618 276 (International call), 075 618 276 (Local call). Mobile Phone: +6689 921-1621 (International call), 089 921-1621 (Local call)

‘Room Only Rate’ GLOW Trinity Silom

G

LOW Trinity Silom is now offering a ‘Room Only Rate’ for travelers who are seeking a comfortable room at a reasonable price right in the heart of the city. ‘Room Only Rate’ starts from THB 1,800 per night in a Superior Room, and THB 2,300 for Deluxe Room. Rates are for accommodation only but including of service charge and applicable tax. The rates for ‘room only’ are valid from now and onward.

Reservations can be made online at www.glowstudios.com or contact GLOW Trinity Silom’s reservation office Tel. 02 231 5301 Fax 02 231 5417 email rsvn.silom@glowstudios.com or Zinc | InVision Hospitality’s Sales & Marketing office Tel. 02 656 0818, Fax. 02 656 0819 email sales@zinchospitality.com

30 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

Tharathip Resort on Koh Phangan offers special rates until 15 July and again from 1 September until 19 December 2011.

T

harathip Resort Koh Phangan, Thailand, is location on Wok Tom Bay with very easy access from the main pier when arriving by ferry from Koh Samui. The location makes it convenient if you want to go into town – it is only approximately 5 minute by car and motorbike. If you prefer to walking and enjoying the amazing view, it is 30 minutes. Tharathip Resort Koh Phangan is small but attractively decorated in a typically local Thai style, Tharathip Resort are set amidst a tropical green garden lush with tall towering coconut trees and lots of blooming greenery and also to see sunset view on the evenings most beautiful of Koh phangan. The 36 rooms have King & Twin beds, hot/cold shower, mini-bar, private balcony, electronic safety box and TV with more than 30 satellite channels. The special rates are available until 15 July and again from 1 September until 19 December 2011 are:

Type

Publish Rate Special Rate

Superior Sea View Hotel 3,700 THB Superior Pool View Bungalow 4,000 THB Superior Sea View Bungalow 4,500 THB Luxury Room 5,000 THB Family villa 7,000 THB

1,120 THB 1,280 THB 1,600 THB 2,000 THB 3,600 THB

For more information, please contact: Tharathip Resort 73 Moo 4, T. Phangan, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 Tel. +66(0) 77 377 861-2 , +66(0) 8 7889 4499 Website : http://www.tharathipresort.com E-mail : info@tharathipresort.com


Tharathip Resort Stylish

Green

Tharathip Resort on Koh Pangan is a small resort attractively decorated in a typical local Thai style. Set amidst a tropical lush green garden with towering coconut trees, Tharathip Resort is peaceful and quiet with probably the most beautiful view of the sunset on Koh Pangan. Tharathip Resort offer either King and Twin beds, private balcony, hot and cold showers, minibar, electronic safety box, TV with 30 news and entertainment channels and Wi-Fi.

Tharathip Resort : 73 Moo 4, T. Phangan, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 Tel. +66 (0) 77 377 861-2, +66 (0) 8 7889 4499 / Website : www.tharathipresort.com / E-mail : info@tharathipresort.com

Surrounded by Nature Located in Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand One of Koh Phangan’s most beautiful beaches. Value to your vacate. Welcomes you to enjoy the best of Koh Phangan.

CENTRAL COTTAGE RESORT

CENTRAL COTTAGE RESORT Thong Nai Pan, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 THAILAND Tel: +66 (0) 77 445 128, +66 (0) 77 445 031 / Fax: +66 (0) 77 445 032 / Email: info@centralcottage.net / www.centralcottage.net


Maxxi Online Building Maxxi, Thailand’s first online hardware store, has been established by Eric Johansson in Hua Hin. He wants to be the first choice for the buyers of building materials in Thailand. By Steen Poulin Nielsen

E

ric Johansson was a carpenter and concrete specialist when he arrived Thailand 19 years ago. He had been working in Australia and was on his way back home, but he decided to stay. “I could see so many opportunities here that I just had to stay,” Eric Johansson says. “I started renovating people’s homes while they were in Scandinavia. When they came back, everything was shining, and the business grew quickly.” Today, 19 years later, Eric has about 300 employees in total.

Difficult to source products Moving into selling hardware and construction materials was triggered by the great difficulties he sometimes had finding basic material for his own business. “When we did find the products we often bought more than we needed and sold to other construction companies – suddenly we were a small scale building material reseller,” says Eric. The business idea shaped up, when he three years ago found Björn Nylén who already had experience doing business in Thailand. Nylen joined Maxxi as the General Manager. Another partner in the team is Niclas Torsell who is based in bangkok. Niclas Torsell has lived in Thailand for 18 years and speaks Thai so he is account executive in charge of with key suppliers of the business. Going for the online business

meant a lot of website development work, which was outsourced to India and Pakistan. With the website online, Johansson, Nylén and Torsell have been meeting some of the big guys in the industry and telling them about how they can be part of what they want to do over the next two years.

Partnership under the umbrella Maxxi is to be regarded as an umbrella where different suppliers of building material can be a partner. Maxxi will sort out the deal and do a contract with each supplier and one of the major points is a price guarantee. Maxxi has to have the lowest prices on the market. The first project for Maxxi was a huge project with several hundreds of houses. Maxxi is selling materials and other companies are doing the work. “It is much easier to sell the cement and make a few baht per bag than to make sure that the cement is being put on the wall”, says Eric Johansson who also tells that Maxxi was an immediate success, he tells: “The first two month we have sold more than expected. Because our prices is so low. A costumer can save a double digit percentage on a septic tank buying from us. Price is very important.” Most important is that Maxxi wants to be a partner instead of a supplier. According to Björn Nylén it is not uncommon in Thailand, that the supplier will make as much money on a short term basis.

32 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

If you are going to build your own house and do not know how big your septic tank should be you will ask the builder. Often he will sell you the most expensive one, much bigger than needed. You are expecting him to be he expert and to give you advises. But he is only looking to take as much money as possible.

Long term business Maxxi wants to take care of the costumer, to give the best advises and to look for continued business. Long term business relations to both suppliers and customers.

Another important factor in Thailand is commission. “It is not uncommon that staff makes money when dealing on behalf of the company. 99% of the purchasing staff in Thailand ask for commission. This practise means that products are getting too expensive. We cut out all kinds of commission”, Johansson says. Maxxi can do the full service for any builder in Thailand. Their architects can do the drawings, the planning, the workshop the kitchen and the windows. And the construction company can build the house. The builder can partner up with Maxxi


Materials It is almost impossible to buy online from any website of Thai manufacturers of building materials.

and have full service and he will not have to spend time talking to many people or taking care of numerous invoices. “If you look into the market today the majority of managers in the building industry are aged 50+. They were running successful businesses before the Internet was widely available here and not aware of the importance of online information. But the new generation of business people know and appreciate what we are doing”, says Johansson. “The market is hungry for information. Today it is very hard even to get a copy of a brochure.” “Here at Maxxi we know more about the product than many of the staff at the suppliers. If you go into HomePro you will find that knowledge of product is rarely available,” says Johansson.

Maxxi Team The company has already teamed up with 56 suppliers. They represent the major brands in the business and the buyers knows them well. “If you go to their websites to buy products, you will find that it is almost impossible. We at Maxxi want to be visible on all our partners websites as the online sales channel for their products so the costumer can start the buying process right there. We wants to be at the top of the page,” says Björn Nylén. The two Swedes have no doubt that Maxxi will turn into a big and successful business. They intend to move fast, expand the numbers of

partners and are sure that they have both the capacity and the knowledge both to grow the business and to add value to the market.

BuildTech´11 At the BuildTech´11 Building Technology Exposition in May, the main event in ASEAN of its kind, Maxxi had a 225 sqm booth where they had invited their partners to join them. Each supplier were given a 5 sqm space to show their products. At the centre of the booth were two Maxxi staff sitting at the computers showing the audience how easily they can order from the website. “We now have 10.000 business cards in our system and are contact them”, says the Eric Johansson.

Own two resorts The challenge to find products in the right quality at the right time and price did not move Eric Johansson into the online business right away. At first he established a workshop doing wall panels, doors, windows, wardrobes, kitchens and even furniture. And with about 300 staff he felt the need to capitalize days without work for all of them. “We have two resorts, Pineapple Resort and Garden Hill´s Resort. When you have 300 staff you do not always have work for all of them, sometimes you only got work for 260 persons and instead of letting 40 persons do nothing we found it a good idea to build for ourselves”, he says. May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 33


Looking for a Partner By Steen Poulin Nielsen

F

our years ago, Peter Rehn found the yacht of his dreams. The well-known Swede was in Hua Hin and the yacht was in Mexico. What might look as an mission impossible Peter saw as an opportunity for new adventures. He flew to Mexico and a few days later he was on board on Life X, as he named the yacht, over the Pacific Ocean bound for Hua Hin. A five month long journey. At the that time Peter had been hospitalized undergoing surgery but he had no second thoughts about the project. “No one has ever been able to stop me from sailing. No woman, no job and no disease,” he says.

Attractive assets Life X takes up to 17 passengers and the yacht is one of two vessels owned by Peter Rehn’s Hua Hin Yact Club Co., Ltd. The other vessel is a large cruiser boat build for day trips taking 50 passengers. Together with a minivan, the two boats make up the main assets of the company. As the founder, Peter Rehn thinks it is about time to look for a partner for the company. “I am turning 77 years old and would like to begin the retirement process,” Peter Rehn says., “That’s why I am looking for a business partner for the Hua Hin Yacht Club.” The ideal business partner will spend at least four month per year

34 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

in Hua Hin taking care of the daily business when Peter is abroad on holidays. “I am offering a 70 to 80 percent ownership of the company. My price for a 80% share is seven million Baht”, Peter tells.

The business Hua Hin Yact Club Co., Ltd.’s business is based on day trips from Hua Hin to some of the nearby islands, like the Monkey Island. Either on the yacht or on the cruiser boat. The

cruiser boat is on duty in the daytime and when the sun goes down, the boat will be transformed into a restaurant. The business is a turn-key operation and Peter believes that a new partner can join the business without greater difficulties. The services is presented to the market by numerous agents in the area. According to the founder more than 300 agents are selling tickets for the company.


Dry, Clean, and Ready

Local business and communities gathered for Samui Big Cleaning Day

Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are among the most popular islands to slip away to for a peaceful weekend or a unique moonlight night on the beach. By Pimjai Chaimongkol

S

amui and surrounding islands are as wonderful as ever! That is the bottom line after ScandAsia visited Koh Samui, Koh Pangan and Koh Tao by the end of April to see if the flooding had left any lasting damage. So if you were worried if it is safe and pleasant to come back for that weekend trip - rest assured that Samui and surrounding islands are as clean and wonderful as ever!

Samui Big Cleaning Day Finalizing the cleaning up process, Samui Municipality organized on 24 April a Big Samui Cleaning Day together with Bangkok Airways, Bangkok Hospital Samui, The Tourism Coordination Center in Samui, Thai Hotels Association and the Tourism Association of Koh Samui. Everyone, including many local residents and even some tourists, joined in the action. “This teamwork conveys a clear massage of how the residents of Koh Samui love their home,” Koh Samui Mayor Mr. Ramnate Jaikwang said about the event:

Clean Beach Clear Sky

Daniel Attling

Jocke Nylander, a Swedish retiree who has lived on Kho Samui for the past five years told ScandAsia how he experienced the flooding.: “I was here during the storm. At that time I was bored because there

36 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

was nothing to do at home. But when it was gone, the sky was clear again. And the beach is as clean as it can get, as you can see!” “Actually, Lamai Beach is more peaceful than Chaweng Beach,” he added.

Diving at Koh Tao Koh Tao is the top five extraordinary diving destinations in the world. Here ScandAsia found Swedish diving enthusiast Daniel Attling who enjoys diving at Koh Tao. “The news coverage about the storm and flood was really bad. It mixed together news about Suratthani, Chompon and the islands, but the fact is that we were only we stuck in flood one single day,” Daniel Attling. “Koh Tao is an island so the water just rapidly flowed into the sea. We actually took the speedboat from Koh Tao to mainland on the day that the Royal Thai Navy ‘Chakri Naruebes’ rescued tourists. Therefore the situation was not too bad from my point of view.” “My family back in Sweden was quite worried about me, but I told them that everything was really OK here,” he added.

Beach Party at Koh Phangan Koh Phangan is famous for the full moon party on the beach. In the day time, Haad Rin Beach is normally a very quite place which is opposite

to the night time where the tourists enjoy the beach party. The Tourism Coordination Center in Samui, Ms. Saipayom Somsuk said “Koh Tao and Koh Phangan were mostly indirectly effected because in order to get to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao from Koh Samui, the tourist have to get on the ferry from Koh Samui. We hope that the tourists understand the current situation and come back here soon!”

Round-the-clock Paramedic Service Dr. Narintara Boonjongcharoen, Hospital Director Bangkok Hospital Samui said: “The tourists can be confident that we at Bangkok Hospital Samui can handle an emergency situation like this. We provided food, drinking water and the best treatment to both tourists and locals 24 hours 7 days a week during the flooding without a problem.”

Flying to Koh Samui Bangkok Airways provides more than 30 non-stop flights daily back/ forth Bangkok and Koh Samui. It takes about 45 minutes. M.L. Nandhika Varavarn, Bangkok Airways’ Vice President talked about the exclusive package: “Summer season is the best period to visit Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao so Bangkok Airways will launch the limited round flight


1

2

3

4

5 with special promotion of 4,300 baht net from 12 -20 May and valid for travel within 30 July 2011”

Ferries to Samui - Koh Phangan - Koh Tao - Koh Nang Yuan Ferries are the most popular means of reaching Samui, and the only way to get to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Lomprayah high-speed Ferry is the transfer services between Koh Samui - Koh Phangan - Koh Tao - Koh Nang Yuan - Chumporn - Bangkok. Many travelers choose Lomprayah because they enjoy sailing along the Gulf of Thailand. One backpacker that ScandAsia met at the Lonprayah Ferry said: “I’m on my way to join the full moon party at Koh Phangan and I have heard that Lompraya is the best ferry service.”

1. Tourists at Lompraya Pier 2. Grand Father & Grand Mother Rock 3. Haad Rin, Koh Phangan 4. Jocke Nylandar at Chaweng Beach 5. Lamai Beach 6. Koh Tao Bird eyes view

6

Important Contacts Tourism Authority of Thailand: 1672, www.tourismthailand.org Bangkok Airways: 1771, www.bangkokair.com Bangkok Hospital Samui: +66 7742 9500, www.samuihospital.com Lomprayah High Speed Ferries: +66 7742 7765 to 6, www.lomprayah.com May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 37


Stormy Annual Meeting in

By Gregers Moller

A

ccusations of mismanagement of over hundred thousand baht were raised against the outgoing board of the Scandinavian Society Siam at the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 26 April 2011 at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok. When the accounts were presented for approval, 11 members voted for rejecting them while 10 members voted for accepting them with reservations. The reason for rejecting the accounts was that the outgoing board was not able to explain the loss incurred at the Crayfish Party held at the British Club in September 2010. Outgoing treasurer Palle Borgselius had moved in the middle of the board year to work in China and was not able to participate in the meeting. In his place, Gregers Moller, who was elected Chairman

of the meeting, presented the accounts. The poor income was according to the treasurer mostly because the participants had been able to go directly to their tables before paying their tickets as the rain started pouring down. Some expenses had also been paid out of the cash box before the collected amount was deposited in the bank. Two members of the outgoing board, Jesper Doepping and Erika Bjorklund, who had been involved with the party, were not present at the meeting and outgoing Chairman Soren Wettendorff was also not able to present more details related to the particular event. The impasse threatened to abort the rest of the meeting because the candidate for the incoming board were reluctant to take over the stirred-up hornets nest. Eventually, the election proceeded

38 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

with assurances from the assembled members that they would receive full support in carrying the Scandinavian Society Siam forward and they would in no way be involved in the clearing of the accounts of the past year. Anita Falk was consequently presented as the candidate of the board for new Chairman of the Society and elected with a big round of applause from the members. No members of the outgoing board were up for reelection, so a complete new board was presented. They were Claus Gundersen, Robert Kronberg, Flemming Winther Nielsen and Vidar Starion. As substitutes for the bord, Johan Holmqvist and Par Hollertz were presented. Again an overwhelming and warm applause confirmed their election. Auditor Eric Hallin, who had noted the need for additional infor-

mation regarding the party loss in his auditor’s report, was re-elected as Auditor and Gregers Moller was re-elected his substitute. Eventually, the meeting ended with a range of suggestions what activities the members would hope to see offered by the incoming board. The wishing list included a Crayfish Party, a Garden Party, an Annual Ball, a continued Bulletin, an active website - all the basic ingredienmts of a normal SSS year - plus of course a bicycle trip to Ayutthaya. The bicycle trip is a proposal put forward by tradition every year. According to the legend, it was first proposed by the legendary Dr Einar Ammundsen. After him, Axel Blom, who last year resigned his membership of the SSS, carried forward the tradition. This year, the Ayutthaya trip was proposed by Jaana Kopra Madsen. The Swedishy vicar Lovisa


Scandinavian Society Siam Moller took to the floor to address the need of a home for the former library of Scandinavian Society Siam. The books were given to the Church of Sweden fifteen years ago when the Church had a domicile in Bangkok. They were now packed in boxes, and the vicar hoped the new board would find a place where they could be put back on shelves where Scandinavians residing for instance outside Bangkok could borrow them and bring them back next time they were in town. Finally, the liquor thought to have been lost, were brought back by past-past Chairman Eid Alexandersen, who could also add that she had learned from the wife of the new Danish Ambassador, that if the new board put in a request to use the Embassy compund for the SSS Christmas Bazaar this year, it would most likely be approved.

May 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 39


The Wet Graves in Bangkok Not many places in this city reach the distinguished age of 155 years. Let’s visit a place of both historical and religious interest and importance that must be protected. By Flemming Winther Nielsen

T

he solid brown iron gate, and the smaller door in the gate, are probably as old as the graveyard. Anyone taller than 146 centimeters must bend down to pass the narrow passage. Behind another gate you find the old mortuary and the big antique wooden cart to carry us the short distance to our final destination. I was trying to approach the hardly readable gravestone of the first Danish-born Consul to Siam, Frederik C. C. Købke, who died of dysentery and liver disease in 1881, just 44 years old. His wife Bolette is here too, she died from dysentery 1866, 27 years old. The gravestone is there, but the oldest part of the cemetery is swamped. I should have brought rubber boots. But this is where he rests, the flamboyant Captain of the Sea and Consul, Lloyd’s agent, a passionate man who also enjoyed a whiskey and a play of cards. He was also a man who showed extraordinary hospitality and helpfulness towards his countrymen, rich and poor - not seen much these days. It bears evidence to his popularity that his funeral was attended by all members of the Danish colony, except one.

Mostly Danes At least 65 Danes are buried at this Protestant graveyard in Bangkok. Several Norwegians and Swedes 40 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

are here too. Many Scandinavian Bangkok residents know the place well; it’s peacefulness and good view of the river is appreciated. It’s located on Soi 72/5 off Charoen Krung Road, on a plot donated by King Mongkut way back in the 1850s. The place was in a miserable shape for many years, as well as being squeezed in between now abandoned truly ugly factory buildings. Grass covered most of the gravestones, concrete crosses were broken and hanging in the iron bindings and the inscriptions becoming, some until now, unreadable. Not so surprising, since some of the funerals took place more than 155 years ago, although many of the oldest memorials remain. Nowadays, a good job is being done trying to keep the wilderness under control, and shade trees have been planted. A bit ironically the bill is being footed by a well-known Chinese business man whose parents converted and are buried here. Burials infrequently take place still, but the graveyard is next to the river and can be flooded when the river rises, just like the rest of this oldest area of Bangkok. Maybe you are thinking ‘why not let it be’. Gone is gone! But then you perhaps don’t realize that the past is not just dead and gone, it is also here among us - today. The past is the stepping stone that we stand on here and now - for a little while. We, in our restless ef-

The graves of Consul Købke and his wife in the cemetery in Bangkok. After the article was forwarded, I had the vegetations removed from the stones etc. As can be seen on this photo, the inscriptions were then repainted in black. The obelisk, however, still leans to the left and need to be straightened up soon.

forts, cannot establish everlasting ventures and memorials. That is an illusion, but it is a profitable mental exercise to keep memorials intact and humanity alive - sometimes we call that Culture.

Pretty miserable Sitting there on the only available bench on the elevated cement footpath, I came to think of the Danish novelist and columnist Johannes V. Jensen, who also liked to walk in graveyards, although this time in Copenhagen. He once said that since the small burial places and the graveyards in Denmark were so neat and well kept, there should be a chance that those who still walked on earth should also be taken good care of, humanity intact. Well, the Protestant graveyard on Charoen Krung Road is certainly not neat and well kept like back in Denmark. But then again, some of those old Scandinavians still living here are also in a pretty miserable condition..


Rye bread

Medium

O

ld school bakers would say that you cannot bake a rye bread without a sourdough, but of course you can. Below we share a simple a recipe with you. Unless you are a bread expert you cannot taste the difference. For us who just needs the joy of a good piece of newly warm baked bread this is as good as it gets. With sourdough you get a more tart taste in the rye bread. Blend yeast and lukewarm water. Too hot or too cold water will not make the yeast work. You can test the water on your hand wrist. Ad rye kernels and flour and then knead the mix with a spoon until it is smooth. The dough must not be too wet and soft nor too hard. It has to be ‘spongy’. Then put the dough in a bowl aside to rise covered with a moist cloth for at least 2 hours. After 2 hours the dough is beaten down and shaped into a loaf and put into a baking tin lubricated with butter or vegetable oil. Put this a side for raising for about 30 minutes. Brush loaf with water and bake at 250 degrees Celsius for approx. 45 minutes. If you like you can sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the bread before putting it in the oven. Take the bread out of the baking tin and puyt it back in the oven to bake for another 15 min. That will give you a crunchy crust on the bread. Let the bread rest before starting to cut a slice. It will fall apart if it is too hot to cut.

Evil

Are you done?

W

hen you have completed the above puzzles, please send your solution by fax to +66 2 943 7169 or scan and email to puzzles@ scandasia.com. We will make a lucky draw among the correct answers. Five lucky winners will receive a ScandAsia polo shirt. Name:

___________________________________________________

Age: ________________________

Mobile:

___________________

Address:

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

Email:

__________________________________________________

Deadline for submitting your solution is 15 June 2011 42 ScandAsia.Thailand • May 2011

To bake 1 loaf of rye bread you need: •20 g. yeast •250 g. coarse rye flour •1 tbs. Salt •2 dl. rye kernels •3.5 dl. water •250 g. wheat flour

Tip If you want a lighter bread you can replace some of the course rye flour with wheat flour. When you add more wheat flour the finished dough must be more soft than a rye bread dough! Now your have a simple white coarse bread. Your can replace the rye kernels with other kernels and seed as sunflower seed and sesame seed. Just make sure the balance of the ingredients is intact. If you prefer old school bakery here is a recipe for sour dough: You make sourdough by mixing 200 g coarse flour in yeast, 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. honey, 1 cup (1 dl.) yogurt and 2 cups water together. Leave it on the kitchen table in a bowl with a towel over a day. Next day stir 2 cups rye flour more, along with enough water until it becomes a light dough. Let it ferment another day. After that the sourdough should smell sour, bubble and be in good shape. If not, repeat the process to succeed. The sourdough can be stored in the fridge.


info@lenotrethailand.com


ScandAsia Thailand - May 2011  

Magazine for residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Thailand.

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